We understand why you haven’t thought much about how winter could affect your electricity bill. Most homes in the Twin Cities use gas heating, not electric heating, so you won’t have to worry about how heating could drive up your electricity bill. Nevertheless, most homeowners will notice their electricity bill rise during cold seasons.
Twin Cities electrical bills tend to rise in the winter for two simple reasons: winter is colder and darker than other seasons. You’re home and indoors more often, and it’s dark outside more often. Therefore, you use your electricity more often and your bill is higher. Luckily, there are a number of surprisingly easy ways to offset this seasonal cost. In fact, if you follow each of the following tips, you might completely offset the increase, and then some!
Unplug non-essential electronics
During winter, you’re going to use more electricity than you do during the rest of the year. Unless you correct for this increased usage, you’ll see a corresponding increase in your energy bill. It’s even possible that the strain of constant usage could wear out your electrical system and lead to problems.
Luckily, it’s surprisingly easy to account for the natural power increase winter brings. Look for electronic devices you keep plugged in and maybe even turned on and simply unplug them. You might be surprised how many you can find. You don’t need to keep devices like your speakers, printers, computer chargers, or even TVs plugged in when you’re not using them. Unplugging the non-essentials will help you conserve power and keep your electrical system from working too hard.
Re-evaluate your electrical habits
This goes hand-in-hand with tip #1. Without even realizing it, almost all of us are guilty of overusing our electricity. Think about it: how often do you leave a light on in a room you aren’t using? Or keep a lap charger plugged in even when you’re not charging the laptop itself?
When you start looking for ways you use your electricity inefficiently, you’ll probably find plenty! If you spend a little time researching saving options, you could find even more ways to become extra efficient. Chances are you won’t even have to make any serious changes to your lifestyle to dramatically increase your home’s energy efficiency. Just paying a little more attention to when and where you’re using power will go a long way.
Replace your bulbs
It’s darker much longer during winter than it is the rest of the year… especially in winter. You’ll also be home a lot more (after all, it’s dark and cold). Therefore, you’ll naturally use your home’s lighting a lot more than you usually would. That lighting will account for a more significant power increase than you might think–especially if you’re using incandescent bulbs.
There are two important ways to reduce the moment of energy your bulbs use this winter. First and foremost: pay close attention to when you use your lights. Next, consider replacing your incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs. CFL, or Compact Fluorescent Lamp bulbs, use far less wattage than their conventional counterparts. Winter is the perfect time of year to give them a try.
Invest in a digital thermostat
Digital thermostats offer several advantages over their conventional counterparts. Their most important advantage is their programming. You can pre-program digital thermostats around your routine to maximize your heating effectiveness.
Program your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re at work and start heating before you get home. Keep the heat running on weekends. Programming your thermostat will ensure you stay comfortable while using far less heat (and power)!
Schedule an inspection
This is the number one best thing you can do to prepare your electrical system for winter. During a routine inspection, a professional electrician can tell you exactly how every aspect of your system is holding up. If we notice any problems, we’ll let you know right away. We’ll help make sure your electrical system is running as efficiently as it can and fix it if it isn’t.
Whether you’re interested in scheduling an inspection or you just have more questions about preparing your home for winter, give Early Bird a call. Our certified experts have lived and worked in the Twin Cities for a long time now, so we know how to get through even the harshest winters. Stay warm!